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  • So I'm at my neighborhood grocery store, doing my shopping for the week.

  • I'm kind of a health nut, so I go right for the stuff labelednatural.”

  • What is carrageenan?

  • Alright, all-natural chicken breasts.

  • Wow, okay.

  • Corn syrup solids?

  • Maltodextrin?

  • Dextrose?

  • Got some natural cheese.

  • Natamycin?

  • What the hell is that?

  • I'm not alone in my confusion.

  • There have been more than 100 lawsuits filed since 2011 over this word, natural.

  • The magazine Consumer Reports has called on the FDA to ban the term.

  • Because, when it comes to food, natural doesn't mean what you might think.

  • In one survey, 60% of Americans thoughtnaturalproducts were free from chemicals, artificial

  • ingredients and pesticides.

  • But that's not the case at all.

  • At least, not according to the two government agencies who regulate our food supply...

  • the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, handles processed foods like cereal, chips,

  • shredded cheese.

  • Altogether, the FDA regulate 80% of our food supply.

  • And according to the FDA, there is no strict definition for what makes somethingnatural.”

  • Their website says that's because most of what we eat bears little resemblance to anything

  • that comes from nature.

  • But this lack of clarity seems to just cause confusion among consumers.

  • The other government agency at play here is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA.

  • It regulates eggs, meat and poultry.

  • And their definition is a little more specific.

  • It basically says you can't add anything after an animal has been slaughtered and call

  • the thing you've madenatural.”

  • The label doesn't tell you anything about how the animal was raised, what kind of food

  • it ate, or whether it was given hormones or antibiotics.

  • For eggs, the term is completely meaningless.

  • The fact that most of us don't know what thenaturallabel does and doesn't

  • ...this translates to big bucks for food companies.

  • The line here shows the sales of organic food products over the past ten years.

  • They've jumped from nearly $14 billion in 2005 to almost $40 billion in 2015.

  • If companies want to call somethingorganic,” regulators have to check to make sure it's

  • mostly free of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers and GMOs.

  • It's an expensive and time-consuming process.

  • So they use the wordnaturalto try to tap into a growing market without the hassle

  • and expense of actually going organic.

  • But that could be changing.

  • The FDA just wrapped up a public comment period where they asked whether they should create

  • a stricter definition for the termnatural.”

  • But even if the government defined the termnatural,” it wouldn't mean the same

  • thing ashealthy.”

  • Lawsuits have argued that genetically-modified crops can't be callednatural,” but

  • plenty of evidence shows they're safe to eat.

  • And while some food additives may be dangerous, most of them are safe, at least according

  • to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

  • The bigger risk when it comes to processed foods may not be their synthetic additives,

  • but the perfectly natural ingredients that get thrown in in surprisingly high amounts.

  • The CSPI says there are two things that cause more harm than all the food additives combined:

  • salt.

  • And sugar.

So I'm at my neighborhood grocery store, doing my shopping for the week.

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B1 US Vox natural label organic definition term

The "natural" label on your food is baloney

  • 8 1
    joey joey posted on 2021/05/18
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